scenic central coast from above

The Definitive Guide to Marketing on the Central Coast

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Halfway between Sydney and Newcastle sits the beautiful Central Coast region. This is also the home of Oddball Marketing headquarters. This region is an amazing place to take your product or service to market, as there are so many accessible (and untapped) digital and physical opportunities for marketing and advertising on the Central Coast.

Since 2012, we’ve been exploring the local marketing landscape. This article you’ve just landed on is so much more – it’s a valuable resource to bookmark for your business! With so many unique promotional opportunities spread from Norah Head to Patonga, we’ve created a comprehensive list of all of your Central Coast specific marketing and advertising options. Explore each area to see how you can get your brand standing out in our region today… And if we’ve missed a vital local business, publication or marketing opportunity – we’d love to hear about it!

Explore within this article:

  1. Networking & Referrals
  2. Central Coast Website Design
  3. Central Coast Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  4. Google My Business
  5. Localised Google Ads
  6. Central Coast Social Media Experts
  7. Central Coast Newspapers
  8. Central Coast Local Radio
  9. Central Coast Video Production
  10. Central Coast Television
  11. Central Coast Photography
  12. Central Coast Publications & Directories
  13. Outdoor Advertising & Transport Advertising
  14. Printing your Sales Collateral
avoca beach landscape
Photography by Colin George

Understanding the Central Coast Community

What does the Central Coast audience look like? With a regional population of around 333,600 and rising (2018 census), this is the third-largest urban area in the whole of New South Wales. Residents choose to live here for the desirable convenience of being close enough to visit Sydney, but with the lifestyle of a small, relaxed, connected community.

We’re a regional community with a collection of coastal suburbs, each with their own personality.

  • Suburbs like Terrigal, The Entrance and Pearl Beach attract elite Sydney-siders
  • Gosford and Woy Woy are our commuter hubs to the city
  • Our Peninsula community is diverse and spread around the edges of Broken Bay, from the flats of Umina to Killcare Heights and its jaw-dropping views of Manly
  • The Central Coast Hinterland encompasses bushland suburbs including Somersby, Peats Ridge, Yarramalong and Calga, with largely unrecognised tourism potential 
  • Gosford CBD houses Central Coast Stadium on the waterfront, the home of CC Mariners

During peak seasons, the Central Coast suddenly grows with an influx of non-locals. These valuable visitors flock here (especially during summer) in the thousands to access our incredible variety of undeveloped coastline, uncrowded beaches, national park hiking trails, seaside cafes, award-winning restaurants, indie breweries, shopping experiences and – of course – the daily Pelican feed at The Entrance

To Sydneysiders, our region may seem quiet and suburban compared to the skyscrapers and speed of Sydney CBD. But if you look a little closer, the Central Coast hosts an amazingly well-connected network of:

the entrance pelicans

Networking & Referrals

Word of mouth marketing is powerful on the Central Coast, and business referrals or recommendations are extremely valuable, with the region still developing its networking capacity.

With over 23,000 local businesses on the Central Coast, many of which are small businesses, networking may be a critical avenue to build relationships and grow your business. By surrounding yourself with people who share a similar drive and ambition, you are more likely to move forward as a group.

  • Oddball Discovery Sessions – a great ice breaker for your Central Coast marketing journey, is a casual chat with the local experts exploring the local scene since 2012.
  • LinkedIn Local Central Coast – a business networking event currently held once a month in the early evening. People here are casual, positive, and eager to add value to your network and theirs.
  • Central Coast Small Business Networking Group – SBNG hold business networking meetings 3x times a month at convenient Central Coast locations. The meetings are relaxed, with the focus being on fostering relationships among business people.
  • Do you have a local networking group to feature here? Get in touch

The Central Coast region is growing at quite a pace, residentially and commercially. This growth is attracting innovative new startups and encouraging formerly city-based businesses to move their premises to the calmer (cheaper) Coast environment, still with excellent train connections to Sydney and Newcastle from Gosford and Woy Woy stations.

Regional growth is also inviting contemporary, Melbourne-esque coffee roaster cafes, rockstar craft breweries, and Surry Hills inspired clothing boutiques to open across Central Coast suburbs.

As a community, we’re enjoying quite the upgrade!

terrigal beach

Central Coast Website Design

It’s odd to think that 59% of Australian small businesses do not have a website. This means businesses with 20 employees or less will often have barely a baseline presence online. So, why do small businesses shy away from creating their own website?

Many business owners consider their company to be “too small”, or a website “too expensive”. Some even believe they don’t have the time to build or manage an entire website. We have some revolutionary news for them.

Your marketing starts with a website. Especially on the Central Coast, where suburbs are segmented and consumers will do their local research before venturing out in search of what they want. 

A website is the face of your business. It’s also your springboard for connecting new customers with your product or service. With 85% of consumers using the internet to search for local businesses, your website is the tool that makes you discoverable online. 

  • Who are you, and what do you stand for?
  • Do you look professional? Approachable?
  • Is your site slicker than your average competitor?
  • What are people saying about your work? 
  • Are you making any of these common website design mistakes?

People want to know these things about you through a simple Google search. If your website doesn’t appear for them in search results, you are essentially invisible and a competitor will happily gain that lead instead.

Should I build my own website, hire a Central Coast web designer, or work with a marketing agency?

There are several website design agencies and freelance web developers on the Central Coast, but not many cover ALL the aspects of building, designing and marketing a new website. It’s good to spend time weighing up your options.

There are online DIY website builders available to sole traders and small businesses, including SquarespaceWix and Jimdo, that all claim it’s “easy to build your own website with no technical or design skills”. It’s only natural to be wary of this, as despite these platforms being user-friendly, they still require a certain professional touch to look, feel, and act… professional! Web design is not something that comes natural to all of us, so we’d suggest seeking out a local website design agency.

Consider where your business is currently. If you’re a startup or newly launched company with lots of time resource right now and minimal budget, then an online website builder may be a good starting point. Just a few pages, (kind of like an online brochure), featuring details of your service and how to contact you. 

If your business has been operating for years but you’re relatively invisible online – get a website now! If you want to develop an effective marketing strategy, grow customer awareness and boost sales – a DIY website probably won’t cut it. And a template-based online builder will sell you short.

If you’re ready to get your business online and appear in front of the local Coastie audience, contact a Central Coast website design agency, like Oddball, who can manage the project from planning to publishing, even adding Google Analytics to track your site’s ongoing progress.

A local Central Coast business should look for a local Central Coast website agency team that includes:

  1. An experienced website developer (who knows how to test the nuts and bolts)
  2. A talented SEO expert (who plans your website content to appeal to Google)
  3. An experienced graphic designer (to create an awesome first impression)
  4. A skilful copywriter (who knows how to get your brand messaging spot on)
  5. A project manager (a local Coastie who understands the scene and your industry).

Central Coast Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

A website is the ultimate online marketing tool for your business. But, just building a website doesn’t mean you’ll be discovered by the Central Coast audience. You need to make sure you have a Local SEO strategy that will help people actually find your site. There are a lot of businesses shouting online, so you are going to need a few SEO tricks up your sleeve to stand out.

Search Engine Optimisation (known in the marketing industry as SEO), for Central Coast companies can noticeably boost visibility on Search Engine Results Pages (we refer to these as SERPs). 

There are many online marketing techniques available to assist with Local SEO, including:

  • Create a keyword-rich blog that talks about the region
  • Optimise on-page content to mention keywords related to the ‘Central Coast’
  • Offer lead-generating content (ebooks, guides, webinars) designed for the local audience

Not all of these are easy for fledgling companies, sole traders or startups. For one, boosting your search results position requires patience, as regardless of what SEO agencies may tell you “becoming number one on Google” is not an overnight job. Unless SEO is your area of specialty, it’s strongly advised that you seek assistance from an experienced Central Coast SEO agency.

The great benefit of hiring a local search engine specialist is their behind-the-scenes understanding of the regional scene, its audience, demographics, and how to optimise your on-page content and website to appeal and connect with your ideal target audience on the Coast.

terrigal anzac day service
Photography by Chris Lapa

Google My Business

Google My Business is a free tool connected to the Google platform. It’s ready for you to use right now, if you’re not already in the GMB Club!

This online tool allows any business owner (from self employed individuals to huge corporate companies), to set up a simple, online profile.

Your Google My Business profile tells people searching for your type of business:

  • Your business name
  • Your business address
  • Your business’ main contact phone number
  • Your business opening hours 
  • Your official website link 

Your profile will appear in searches similar to Google’s Local Map Pack, Local Finder, and organic rankings in general.

A critical first step in ANY local Central Coast SEO strategy is to claim and verify your local business’ Google My Business (GMB) listing. When someone searches for your business on Google, the information used in the initial setup of your GMB profile is shown from your Google My Business page among the search results. 

You can understand the importance of getting this stuff correct, as in a lot of cases it’s the first interaction a new customer has with your business. Imagine if they call a delisted phone number? Or if your trading hours claim you’re closed on Mondays, but you since changed to closing on Sundays instead?

All the information in the red box below came from our own ‘Oddball Marketing’ Google My Business page. If you want to know how we managed to increase our visibility and show in two other locations, check out our Google Ads service for advice to apply to your own business!

surfer jumping in waves

Localised Google Ads 

Google Ads (formally AdWords) is one of the most significant marketing opportunities for a business on the Central Coast. With over 2.5 billion Google searches made everyday (and growing), Google Ads is Google’s advertising service that gives advertisers the ability to target potential customers on the Central Coast with advertising on the Google network, controlled primarily using keywords.

This marketing channel gives businesses the ability to display short advertising text on Google’s search results pages, or images across its display advertising network, with a Pay Per Click cost basis (PPC). 

As the volume of search queries fielded by Google grows, the more chances you have to drive traffic to your website through the Google Search and Display Networks with location-based targeting. You can create a campaign entirely shaped around an audience in the Central Coast region, so your message can appeal to them directly and personally.

Ensure you enlist an agency to help you get started on this platform – and check they are a Google Certified Partner (we are!). Without giving all our secrets away in this area, we’ve developed a series of unique tools, templates and techniques to ensure our clients’ Google Ads campaigns secure the best possible reward for their investment. The best thing about this marketing channel is that you control the budget, so you have the power to turn it off whenever you need to. 

We specialise in this area and have a bunch of successful case studies proving the awesome ROI we can achieve for clients.

norah head landscape

Central Coast Social Media Experts

With 8 in 10 Australians using social media, you need to be where they are. Be seen, be heard and be shared! With such high engagement potential, there’s countless strategies you can employ on social media to get more exposure for your businesses on the Central Coast.

But just ‘being’ on social media isn’t enough. You’ve got to make waves.

Social Media Marketing is essentially meeting your target audience and existing customers where they are right now. This means engaging with them online as they mingle with each other, their interests and your brand. 

Social media is also an incredible opportunity to target customers in different geographic locations, like in the Central Coast or Sydney regions. You can also “hyper-target” audiences on social media, meaning you can create ads served to Coasties who like luxury brands and identify as male. This super specific style of targeting is one of the most powerful and accessible features of social media platforms, like Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook, today.

While Social Media Marketing offers both engagement value and a boost to your business growth, your social strategy really should be adjusted for each social media platform, as they are not all the same.

Do you know what social networks your audience spends their time on? What channel is best suited to the demographic of your audience? TikTok or Facebook? Pinterest or Instagram? Choosing the best social media platform for your audience is the key to connecting with locals in your area who are going to be keen to find out more about what you’re selling! 

Choose the Best Social Media Platform for your Business:

Facebook

Users: 2.2 billion (Messenger has 1.3 billion)
Audience: Generation X and Millennials
Industry impact: B2C
Best for: Brand Awareness, Advertising

Twitter

Users: 335 million
Audience: Primarily Millennials
Industry impact: B2B and B2C
Best for: Public Relations, Customer Service

Instagram

Users: 1 billion
Audience: Primarily Millennials
Industry impact: B2C
Best for: Organic Media, Behind-the-scenes, User Generated Content, Advertising

LinkedIn

Users: 294 million
Audience: Baby boomers, Generation X, and Millennials
Industry impact: B2B
Best for: B2B Relationships, Business Development, Employment Marketing

YouTube

Users: 1.9 billion
Audience: Millennials, closely followed by Generation Z
Industry impact: B2C
Best for: Brand Awareness, Entertainment, How-to Videos

Snapchat

Users: 255 million
Audience: Primarily Generation Z
Industry impact: B2C
Best for: Brand awareness, Advertising

Pinterest

Users: 250 million
Audience: Primarily older Millennials and younger Baby Boomers
Industry impact: B2C
Best for: Visual advertising, Inspiration

TikTok

Users: 500 million
Audience: Primarily Millennials
Industry impact: B2C
Best for: Short videos, Music

Photography by Colin George

Central Coast Newspapers

Advertising in local newspapers offers some great benefits, the most obvious being to reach the local readership. It helps increase brand recognition, encourages consumers to shop locally and encourages repeat business.

Newspaper readers tend to be proactive, looking through the advertisements for new deals and coupons. Newspaper advertising also offers a wide range of advertising options that can meet nearly any budget, depending on size, colours, location within the paper and repeat inclusions.

In our region, local newspapers are still considered to be an important part of community news and information:

The Central Coast Express Advocate newspaper is published twice weekly, with specialised editions for the Gosford and Wyong regions. It caters to a wide audience with news and current affairs, food and drinks, entertainment, lifestyle and more.

  • Central Coast Express Advocate – Gosford Edition
  • Central Coast Express Advocate – Wyong Edition
  • Coast Community Chronicle – Covering the remainder of the Gosford and Wyong local government areas, serving a population of around 160,000 people and distributes 21,000 copies every alternate Wednesday. Restrict to a max average of 40% advertising content with more editorial content per page than other local newspapers. 
  • Coast Community News – targeted to the Gosford local government area, it is published on alternate Thursdays to reach a population of around 110,000 people and distributes 20,000 copies.
  • Peninsula News – a longstanding community newspaper catering specifically for the Peninsula area to the south of the Central Coast including suburbs in the postcodes 2256 and 2257. It serves a total population of around 50,000 people and distributes 18,000 copies every alternate Monday.
Photography by Whitney Edwards

Central Coast Local Radio

Radio has a unique capacity to reach anyone at any time, whether in the car, at home, at the office, at the gym or in a store. Radio is renowned for providing up to date information such as traffic reports, weather reports and community and special events. Radio is almost always local, so you know your advertisement can be tailored and targeted to your local audience.

Listeners are generally loyal to their radio station of choice, tuning in at familiar times like getting ready for work, or driving the kids to and from work, so you can even tailor your radio ad content to play at a certain time of the day to reach your targeted demographic. Before advertising on radio, it’s a good idea to have a good understanding of the demographic you want to reach, so you can advertise with the right radio stations at the right times.

Triple M Central Coast – 107.7FM
Formerly known as “2GO”, one of the leading Central Coast radio stations with popular breakfast and drive time programs and extensive community involvement. For more info on advertising, visit Southern Cross Austereo.

Radio StarFM – 104.5FM
Nova Entertainment Group station with wide demographic appeal across the Coast in the adult contemporary arena and a focus on pop music from the 1980s to now.

Radio CoastFM – 96.3FM
A historical and popular Central Coast community radio, CoastFM caters to a broad audience with easy listening music and special interest shows like fishing, culture, comedy, and youth.

Radio ABC Central Coast – 92.5FM
The local Central Coast take on the national ABC radio network.

Radio RawFM – 88.0FM
Radio for the dance and club demographic. With an 18-30 year old core market that’s active, healthy and tech-savvy RAW has a strong and loyal listener base which includes uni students and young professionals who socialise frequently and have a good disposable income. Information on advertising with RAW Central Coast can be found here.

Radio 94ONE – 94.1FM
The only community radio station on the Central Coast playing country music, the station is run by volunteers and continues through dedicated sponsorships from local businesses, which give air time access and program mentions.

patonga waterway
Photography by Chris Lapa

Central Coast Video Production

The Central Coast is home to some experienced and quality video production businesses and talented individuals who use the local landscape as their canvas to capture incredible footage. Investing in a promotional video reel that showcases your business’ services or products is one investment will truly pay off – your video content is always shareable on social media, can be posted to your website, uploaded onto YouTube, played at trade shows and conferences and shared with potential clients.

The possibilities of video content are endless when it comes to marketing a brand, campaign, product or story – and as we spend more and more time online, and people want to be engaged immediately, video needs to be a core element of your marketing strategy. 

We have some picturesque locations to shoot at on the Coast, all you need to do is organise a film crew to bring the knowledge and kit! Here’s some ideas of local video production agencies on the Central Coast you may want to approach:

Treehouse Creative
Based at Terrigal, Treehouse creative are ‘storypreneurs’ who develop a narrowcast strategy for your content and build a legacy relationship with the consumers of your message.

Joos Productions
Based on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Josh is a creative with a keen eye for composition after 12 years working for renowned landscape photographer, Ken Duncan. Josh now uses his skills to create engaging brand video content for his clients.

Forrest Buddy Creative
Knowing a local, talented content producer is invaluable for commissioning smaller scale video projects, such as for social media. Trent Brailey is a Coastie entrepreneur dedicated to sourcing, producing and broadcasting social story content for Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter or running integrated mainstream product/campaign story content.

Perbenyik Productions
Full service video productions for small to large scale projects, providing elements such as creative brief, scripts, actors, voice overs, music and more.

Central Coast Television

Television advertising can be expensive, so do your audience research before committing to a campaign!

NBN Television is the Central Coast’s predominant local TV station, which is affiliated with the metropolitan Channel 9. Localised content is generally the news, sport and advertising. The majority of homes on the Central Coast have access to NBN broadcasts. NBN Central Coast have advertising packages available for your business, so contact them directly.

Photography by Colin George

Central Coast Photography

Like video, quality photography for your business or products is a worthy investment of your marketing budget. Your website and digital marketing will go a long way with visually appealing images, as will printed brochures and publications, banners, promotional materials and more.

Once commissioned, you can also build a library of professional photographic content for repurposing across various marketing channels. Enough on photography though – here’s a snapshot of some of the Central Coast’s creatives who may be able to help you…

Studio 2 U
Professional photography and video with a focus on commercial imagery, corporate headshots, product images, industrial, architecture and food. 

Louise Blake Photography
Specialists in providing portrait and commercial photography services to clients across Sydney and the Central Coast, including corporate headshots, pet portraits, newborn photography, family photography, maternity photo shoots, baby milestones and preschool / daycare photos.

Essence Images
Personalised, professional commercial and portrait photography to suit your brand, as well as corporate events photography.

Impact Images
30 years of experience on the Central Coast with commercial photography for local businesses, specialising in raw, unscripted and emotional photography (they specialise in wedding and portrait photography too).

Art House Photography
Established in 2002 by Mark van Tongeren, predominantly specialising in wedding and portrait photography, plus commercial, real estate, travel and fine art photography.

Glenn Mckimmin
Entrepreneur and professional landscape photographer with a framing studio Created For Life based at Erina on the Central Coast. Glenn is available to photograph properties, resorts, golf-courses, landscaping, location-specific wilderness shoots and more. His colourful body of work can also be licensed for website images or shots for your advertising campaign.

killarney vale sunscape
Photography by Chris Lapa

Central Coast Publications & Directories

Advertising in a local Central Coast publication may provide an affordable way to increase brand awareness for your business.

Central Coast Business Review
Published monthly since 1990, the Central Coast Business Review is a respected publication for the Central Coast region’s business community. With a reach of over 20,000 local business people, it is the go-to for the latest business information and news.

On the Coast Publications
Publishers of On The Coast – Families and On The Coast – Over 55s, On The Coast Publications provide the NSW Central Coast with up-to-date, topical and informative content and let the community know what’s happening.

COAST Magazine
Distributed quarterly by Coast Publishing, this exciting lifestyle and tourism magazine profiles the very best of the Central Coast, with guides on where to shop, eat, chill, explore and stay.

Central Coast Collective
A female collective and your resource to explore and connect with female-owned business and entrepreneurs located throughout the Central Coast region.

wyong creek scene
Photography by Chris Lapa

Outdoor Advertising & Transport Advertising

oOh! Media
oOh! Media (who acquired Adshel in 2018) are a national supplier of big billboards – yep, including those giant signs on the side of the road. oOh! has billboards in shopping centres all across the Central Coast and nationally across Australia, as well as advertising space in airports. Basically any kind of space where people gather.

Claude Outdoor
Out of home provider of advertising space. Claude Outdoor operate on the Central Coast with billboards, bus shelters and public space advertising. A local representative can look after your advertising inquiries for the Central Coast.

APN Outdoor (JCDecaux)
APN Outdoor is an Australian outdoor brand advertising company based in Sydney, with digital billboards and regular billboards combined with transit media on street furniture, bus and tram networks, train networks and airports.

Central Coast Stadium Venue Advertising
Expose your brand to the attendees of major sporting events, reaching up to 20,000 people, amplified by the television viewing audience obtained through live sporting coverage by Channel 9 and/or Fox Sports. Includes LED sign on the corner of Dane Drive and Central Coast Highway (13 million Coasties drive past it each year!).

Go Transit – Bus advertisements
Go Transit create large format advertising on the sides of buses servicing a variety of Central Coast suburbs. With almost 80% of Australians claiming to notice outdoor advertising with a high rate of brand recall, this may be a worthy investment in attracting the Central Coast audience.

Central Coast Taxis – Taxi advertisements
Contact these guys directly to inquire about advertising your business on taxis driving around the Central Coast.

terrigal haven
Photography by Chris Lapa

Printing your Sales Collateral

On the Central Coast we have access to outstanding quality printers and designers for all of your business needs, from producing business cards to letterheads, newsletters, pull up banners and promotional items. You don’t have to source outside our region to get the best look for your business, brand or event. And by buying local, you’ll be supporting our regional economy too!

Lakes Printers
With an extensive 75 year printing history on the Central Coast, Lakes Printers have experienced staff taking care of your design and print needs, even through to distribution and mailing.

Worldwide Printing Solutions
Located at Erina, Worldwide Printing Solutions service the Central Coast for printing and promotional products.

E-Bisprint
With their head office located at Tuggerah on the Central Coast, E-Bisprint is an award-winning national print company covering everything from business cards to corporate apparel and workwear.

Gosford Printing
Operating on the Central Coast for over 45 years, Gosford Printing is a successful commercial printer specialising in design, pre-press, offset printing, digital printing and refined finishes including embossing and foiling.

oddball office west gosford

Ready to start marketing on the Coast?

The answer is yes! This exclusive insider guide should have you and your business clued in to start standing out in our region of New South Wales. We hope we’ve helped you better understand exactly where, when, and how to promote your business on the Central Coast.

If you’re not sure which marketing channels are best suited to your business – or if you want to know more about how to get the most out of your advertising spend each month – contacting our team is a pretty good place to start! We’re all Coasties here are the Oddball office, so we’re more than happy to point you in the right direction with our collective local knowledge.

To gather specific ideas for your business, a 1-on-1 Oddball Discovery Session is a great ice breaker to start your marketing journey.

Happy marketing from the Oddballs at West Gosford!


Are you sitting on an opportunity, platform, publication, or listing we’ve not included in this article? We’d love to hear about it! Simply complete our contact form and we’ll look into adding it to our growing list of free resources.

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